BY TRONE DOWD
The annual tree lighting ceremony at Queens Borough Hall kicked off the holiday season in musical, yuletide fashion on Monday afternoon as Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and her staff greeted passing constituents and crooned classic carols into the cold winter air.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus were in attendance, taking photos with children and camera shy adults alike. Children were also treated to cookies and candy canes.
Katz shared her pride in the borough at this time of year.
“Let me just say Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, and all of the things that we are celebrating with our families this time of year,” she said. “It’s an amazing time of year. It is just magical. You go around the borough like the way I get around the borough and you see that it truly has a quality you can’t explain.”
Katz thanked the families of Queens as well as members of her staff and the community board members around the borough.
“So many of you here today are a part of the magic that we have created in this borough,” she said. “I am so proud of each and every one of you.”
Katz led the gathering in a rendition of “Silent Night” after lighting the tree.
Reflecting on Queens’ diversity, Katz ensured that more festival holiday events are scheduled for the near future. On Dec. 12, Queens Borough Hall will light the menorah in time for the start of Hanukkah.